Category Archives: Places

Hibiscus tiliaceus

A yellow Hibiscus tiliaceus flower in Hawaii
Yellow and pink Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers in Hawaii

This was going to be my last response to Becky’s April Squares challenge, but I punted it back a week. These are the beautiful, bright flowers of hibiscus tiliaceus, which is known as hau in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, who used the wood in their canoes and the bark for cordage and medicinal purposes.

The flowers only last for a day, starting out yellow and becoming orange and then red as the day wears on. As the lower photo shows, different colored blooms can often be seen on the same plant depending on where they are in this progression. These were at Kohanaiki Beach Park.

Better Days: Dead fish

Dead fish among rocks at Kiholo, Hawaii

On a walk at Kiholo, I noticed a bit of a ripe smell in the air. When I got to the top end of the lagoon I found the reason for it. The shoreline was littered with clumps of these dead fish. There must have been several hundred of them all told. I don’t know the reason for the stranding, but the scene reminded me of images of fish markets or still life paintings.

Paniolos

Three Paniolos on horseback in Hawaii

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Hands & Feet.’ See more responses here.

I wasn’t sure I had anything for this topic, but then I thought of these paniolos, who I saw at Upolu last month. Paniolos are the Hawaiian version of cowboys and these days they often ride four-wheel vehicles. But there are still occasions when they’ll saddle up while moving or tending cattle.

This scene occurred last month when they were moving a herd of cattle into a new pasture. I arrived at the tail end of the process, when the paniolos were walking back to their vehicles.

So what does this have to do with hands and feet? Well, it occurred to me that hands and feet are the main tools of the trade for communicating with the horse being ridden. And as for the horses, their feet are shod with lucky horseshoes and their height is measured in hands.

Enough said!

Three Paniolos on horseback and a sugar cane harvester

On the water

Water lilies at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden in Hawaii
A sailboat off the coast of Hawaii
Two outrigger canoes off the coast of Hawaii
A surfer in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Water.’ See more responses here.

First up is a patch of water lilies on Lily Lake at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens, which reopened at the beginning of April after being closed all year. My wife and I visited last Friday and it was great to be back. As usual, I took a bunch of photos most of which still need processing.

Second is a sailboat running before the wind on the blue Pacific.

Below that is a pair of canoeists paddling along the island’s northern coast. Yesterday, I saw several vehicles going by with canoes, probably headed for Keokea Park, where they can put in safely, possibly for a race. One of the vehicles pulled in to the likely landing spot, where surf was crashing over the parking lot. The driver didn’t look too enthusiastic. I don’t know whether the race took place or not.

Fourth is that quintessential Hawaiian pastime – surfing. Watch out for those rocks!

Finally, a pair of northern pintails coast on a pool of water at Upolu. These used to be seen in large numbers in Hawaii, but not so much these days.

A pair of male northern pintails in Hawaii

A bright I’iwi

An I'iwi in a forest off Saddle Road, Hawaii
An I'iwi calls in a forest off Saddle Road, Hawaii

On my last hike on the Pu’u O’o Trail, off Saddle Road, I soon ran into a man and his son staring at a tree a short distance away. The man explained that they’d seen an i’iwi, a native Hawaiian honeycreeper, fly into the tree and were hoping to see it again. I waited with them for a while, but saw nothing and decided to move on.

A little later I ran into two men coming out of a kipuka, a cluster of old vegetation that has been bypassed by lava flows. One of them, looking pretty pleased, held out his camera and said they’d just seen an i’iwi and he’d got some good photos. He mentioned the spot where they’d seen the bird, so I headed into the trees to have a look. Nothing. It was beginning to look like it was going to be one of those days where everyone else has a wonderful experience except me!

But not long after, I saw a flash of red and then this bird settled on a branch and began to add its song to the loud chorus of bird songs in the kipuka. One thing about i’iwis is that if they’re around, they’re easy to see, their bright red plumage standing out against the green background.

After the bird flew off, I carried on with my hike. When I returned half an hour later, the bird song in the kipukas had diminished considerably and I didn’t see or hear anymore i’iwis.

Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

Blake’s art corner

An outdoor art installation in Hawi, Hawaii

In the heart of downtown Hawi, there’s a telephone pole surrounded by tradescantias. This is where Blake, a local resident, has his unofficial art gallery. The display changes quite frequently, but can always be relied upon to feature bright colors.

Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.